More than just COVID-19 prevention: Exploring the links between PPE, safe work protocols and workers' mental health

11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.


Peter Smith
Institute for Work & Health

We have heard a lot about the importance of personal protective equipment (PPE) and infection control procedures (ICP) during the COVID-19 pandemic. Much of the focus has been on the role of PPE and ICP in reducing workplace COVID-19 transmission—less so on the association between the adequacy of PPE provision and ICP implementation and the mental health of workers. 

In this presentation, Dr. Peter Smith shares results from two surveys, one conducted among 6,000 health-care workers and the other among 3,300 workers in non-health-care sectors. Survey respondents were recruited across Canada through the networks of an ad-hoc pandemic survey group, led by the Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers (OHCOW). The findings provide important insights into the additional benefits of adequately designed and implemented employer-based PPE and ICP practices, beyond reducing COVID-19 transmission.

You can read about the health-care worker survey results in this article in The Conversation. More information on these results and how they compare to those of non-health-care workers will be revealed at this IWH Speaker Series presentation.

About presenter

Dr. Peter Smith is scientific co-director and a senior scientist at the Institute for Work & Health in Toronto. He has extensive experience conducting research related to work injury and its consequences using large population-based surveys and administrative workers' compensation data. His key research interests include: gender and sex differences in the relationship between work and the risk of chronic disease and work injury; the nature and measurement of occupational health and safety vulnerability; return-to-work experiences for people with mental health conditions; and the long-term outcomes of injured workers.

About IWH Speaker Series

The IWH Speaker Series brings you the latest findings from work and health researchers from the Institute for Work & Health (IWH) and beyond. For those unable to attend, the recorded webinar of most presentations in the IWH Speaker Series are made available on its web page within a week of the event.